German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has cancelled his planned visit to Turkey after Ankara said it was restarting operations of a survey ship that it withdrew last month. Maas said that Ankara's renewed push "severely damaged" the atmosphere of trust and said that Turkey can't have any interest in the long-term continuation of the conflicts that it's involved in.
The United States has accused Turkey of stoking tensions and "deliberately" complicating the resumption of any talks with Greece via sending Oruç Reis to carry out seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean. We urge Turkey to end this calculated provocation and immediately begin exploratory talks with Greece," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Oct. 13.
Germany urged Greece and Turkey on Aug. 25 to solve their dispute over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean Sea through dialogue, warning of the risk of a military confrontation. "The current situation in the eastern Mediterranean is equivalent to playing with fire," Heiko Maas said after meeting his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Athens. "Every little spark can lead to catastrophe."
Berlin’s intention was to pick up the Greece-Turkey negotiations in September and they are sticking to the time frame they set. So, all is fine and right on track for Germany. However, Greece’s patience is running thin, and instead of sitting idly by, Athens is trying to jolt Germany through its political rights within the European Union.
Germany lifted a warning against travelling to four Turkish seaside provinces, Antalya, İzmir, Aydın and Muğla, as part of a deal to help revive tourism between the two countries, the foreign ministry in Berlin said on Aug. 4.
Turkey could pause energy-exploration operations in the Eastern Mediterranean for a while pending talks with Greece, Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said on July 28. Saying that there is a basis for dialogue between Ankara and Athens, Kalın noted, "We're ready to discuss all bilateral issues with Greece without pre-conditions upon the orders of our president."
French President Emmanuel Macron on July 23 demanded EU sanctions against Turkey for "violations" of Greek and Cypriot waters amid increasing Eastern Mediterranean tensions. Separately, German media reports have said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was instrumental in preventing a military confrontation between Greece and Turkey late on July 21.
Germany is reportedly investigating four soldiers over their links to a Turkish ultra-nationalist group. Following a parliamentary question submitted by the Left Party, the government said that one of the soldiers in question was determined to be lacking the loyalty to the German constitution.
A Turkish court sentenced German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel in absentia on July 16 to jail for 2 years and 9 months for terrorism propaganda, his lawyer said. The court ruled that he was not guilty of sedition or of spreading propaganda for the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.